22 May, Tuesday

Crimean officials call Ukraine’s lawsuit against Stalin and Beria mockery


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Claims by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office about the evidence gathered for charging Joseph Stalin and Lavrenty Beria with the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 do not entail any practical consequences and are little more than a mockery of the tragedy the Crimean Tatars went through in the middle of the 20th century, an official told TASS on Thursday.
"All these decisions don’t entail any practical effects for the Crimean Tatars and only add a painful imprint (…) as a mockery over their tragedy," said Zaur Smirnov, the chief of the State Committee of the Republic of Crimea. By putting forward deportation charges against Stalin and Beria, Ukraine seeks to avoid responsibility for total inaction on the Crimean Tatars’ problem over the 23 years from 1991 through 2014, he said. "Ukraine is trying to bypass responsibility for the fact not a single president, not a single government, not a single convocation of parliament did not adopt legislative acts on the political rehabilitation of the Crimean Tatars," Smirnov said.
He recalled that a decree on rehabilitation of the Crimean Tatars and other peoples, which suffered from Stalin’s repressions in Crimea, was signed by President Vladimir Putin on April 21, 2014, after Crimea and the city of Sevastopol reunited with Russia.
"Ukraine has shown a yet another time it is trying to squeeze a maximum profit from the history of the Crimean Tatar people and its deportation," Zaur Smirnov said. "This was so in previous years (when Crimea was still part of Ukraine - TASS) and this is so today."
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"The criminal cases the Prosecutor’s Office institutes today for the people who have long passed to the other world is a blunt continuation of the policy of populism," he said.
Reports said on Thursday the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office had gathered evidence for charges against Stalin and Beria over the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944.
Investigation of the case was resumed back in December 2015 by the so-called Prosecutor’s Office for Crimea in Kiev.


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